A Look Back
A year later, we look at how the region pulled through, and what we learned about our communities and ourselves along the way.
Heart of the Home
The staff of Every Day with Rachael Ray and their parent company, Meredith Corporation, were among the hundreds of volunteers who worked with Rebuilding Together, a nonprofit organization that repairs the homes of people in need, to resuscitate Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn, after superstorm Sandy struck.
Close to Home
Meredith senior marketing manager, Chris Jette, was among the victims to Hurricane Sandy. His Gerritsen Beach home turned into a five-foot deep indoor pool.
More than a Kitchen
The neighborhood's volunteer fire department, affectionately known as "The Vollies," turned their training hall into a relief center, with canned goods, clothing and medical supplies on offer. It may not look like much, but this kitchen helped feed thousands of people for months after the storm.
Restoring The Vollies
The kitchen began to feel more like a community center than just a place to eat. Even after people were able to cook at home again, they instituted a weekly spaghetti supper. So, Every Day with Rachael Ray joined in to remodel it into a beautiful communal kitchen to help keep the tradition alive.
Staffers Get Involved
Every Day with Rachael Ray publisher, Chris Guilfoyle, touches up the trim.
Web editor Lauren Smith (left) and associate lifestyle editor Allyson Dickman paint the kitchen.
Production director, Betsey Barnum, fixes up the patio.
A Life in Pictures
Rach's buddy, Evette Rìos, worked overtime to help preserve her family's history. Her family put all of their energy into saving family photos, as they were completely drenched from the storm.
Nicole Cantanese recalls the WearEver aluminum pots her mother bought with a lifetime guarantee 39 years ago. Those pots continued to feed her family of five (20 on holidays) everything from Sunday night pasta to chicken soup for a cold winter day, to lasagna, beef stew, Saturday morning pancakes, baked birthday chicken and more. 40,000 meals later, the pots had become an heirloom. When Sandy struck her mother's house, the pots were unsalvageable. Even after being soaked in a bath of baking soda, vinegar and water, the damage was irreparable.
A Lifetime of Memories
Nicole writes, "While the lifetime guarantee could never have anticipated Sandy, nearly four decades of service is no small feat. What will absolutely last a lifetime, though, even without those pots, is my deep love of what they held. And my memories of the days and nights when my mother's cooking brought us all together. As a family. Nothing -- come hell or high water -- can take that away."